After a car wreck, mounting medical bills and lost income will cause you financial hardship and stress. So you may be enticed by the quick settlement offer the other driver’s insurance adjuster promises if you cooperate with him. But relying on him will slash the financial recovery you are entitled to. Just say no. Call a good personal injury lawyer instead.
Insurance Companies Are Businesses, Not Friends
Remember, an insurance company is never your “good neighbor” and you are not “in good hands” with one. Just the opposite, it is a business that has only one objective: maximizing its profit.
The biggest cost to an insurance company is payments made by adverse claimants or its own policyholders. The adjuster is a highly trained employee who has every incentive to reduce these payments as much as possible.
Don’t Make a Statement Without Talking to A Lawyer First
An adjuster will try to call you soon after the collision, usually on a recorded line. Why? So the company can use your words against you later on.
But you are presumably nervous and not sure of which questions will be asked. You might be taking painkillers prescribed which can muddle your memory and judgment. And you may not understand the question fully or comprehend the effect of your answer. You can’t retract comments you made while in this vulnerable state.
You also may say something that is misinterpreted as placing you at fault for the auto accident. You may have made a slight driving error but still not be legally at fault. You may be substantially less at fault than the other driver. Your lawyer can investigate the cause of your crash and advise you from a legal standpoint how you should proceed.
ushing you into making a statement without the advice of a lawyer is a common tactic that can cost you your right to the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
Don’t Settle Without Talking to A Lawyer First
Another common tactic is pushing an early low ball settlement. Adjusters frequently get bonuses for these. Never sign a settlement waiver before talking to your lawyer.
You may not realize the extent of your damages. If you answer the seemingly innocent question, “How are you doing?” with “Fine,” you will be sorry when the insurance company twists that remark.
Once you sign a release of claim, it is too late to change your mind, even if you discover that your injuries are much worse than you originally suspected or you incurred medical bills and damages that you did not consider at the time you were talking to your adjuster.
I have been helping car crash victims for 35 years and can calculate the true value of an auto accident. I evaluate your right to such damages as your lost wages, future medical treatments, diminished earning capacity, disabilities, pain and suffering that resulted from the crash.
In a world of skyrocketing medical costs, you can quickly reach the limits of your policy in medical bills alone. Of course, this is unfair; you should not be left with the financial burden. One of your lawyer’s jobs is to negotiate with your doctors, hospitals and other medical providers for a reduction in bills and costs of treatment. This is something an adjuster is not in a position to do.
You May Be Better Off Going to Trial
Another important function of a lawyer is determining whether litigation is warranted and, if so, aggressively representing you in court. Your insurance adjuster can only settle a claim and cannot advise you on whether you should take your claim to trial.
The possibility of trial often forces insurance companies to agree to higher settlements.They don’t want to incur the costs and uncertainty of trial, which can dip into profits. Even though most personal injury attorneys settle the majority of auto accident claims without a trial, the willingness to go to court is a powerful edge during the negotiation process.
Retaining a Lawyer is No-Risk and Your Case Evaluation is Free
Dallas-Fort Worth-based Berenson Injury Law offers a free case evaluation so you can get solid advice from an experienced lawyer before you take action on your case.
Law firms take your claim on contingency. This means that if there is no recovery, there is no attorney’s fee. Most firms waive expenses as well. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.